Rajib Das Sharma
Disruptive technologies are driving a new wave of innovation in the IT space. With the emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Big Data, cloud computing and other concurrent new age technologies, the legacy IT companies and teams need to relook at their internal processes and structure.
Bank of America, Merrill Lynch predicts that AI will have a $9 trillion impact on knowledge work over the coming decade. The McKinsey Global Institute says AI is driving the transformation of society at a rate of “3,000 times the impact” of the Industrial Revolution. Solidifying these claims, the Forrester report quotes that there was a greater than 300% increase in investment in artificial intelligence in 2017compared with 2016.
AI is not just a concept anymore, 2017 has seen the practical applications of AI, ML, Big Data in various industries. Therefore, it is imperative that the enterprise IT teams should have a comprehensive understanding of the changing infrastructure and the application landscape in relation to the new age technologies. To be competitive, effective and efficient in the current landscape of digital transformation, they need to be trained and informed on these technologies to make them multi-skilled and for the organisations to be ahead in their game.
The only thing constant is change and to be a frontrunner in this digital era, the organisations and their IT teams need to change, embrace the technologies and implement them in their work process. With the growing expanse and acceptance in technologies like AI, ML and cloud computing; change management should be a critical aspect of any enterprise IT team. The IT teams need to prepare their system and train their staff to administer change and be skilled in implementing and utilising the new age technology. The training will ensure that the transition from the legacy software’s to the new age technology is smooth and planned to combat and mitigate any risks or operational challenges. These new technologies can aid the IT teams to ensure continuous availability, seamless user experience and uninterrupted productivity.
Implementing the new age technology in the IT framework not only gives an edge to the organisation, it also offers flexibility, scalability and quality in services and helps in optimising cost and resource utilisation.
Internally, AI can help the IT teams in the following areas:
Reduced call to action: With the availability of Big Data and creation of data lakes, the utilisation of AI can help in reduced call to action time. For instance, Robotic Process Automation(RPA) and Machine Learning can play a big role in IT space by automating redundant and monotonous jobs and utilising the time and effort to enhance the productivity redeploying resources to strategic functions that increase the value and innovation IT can bring to the business.
Better decision making and response system: The accuracy of data again empowers enterprise executives to take quick, accurate and data driven decisions. This leads to increased productivity and efficiency. With the introduction and growth in IoT and the massive deployment of sensors, the availability and accessibility of valuable data and information have become easy. AI can act as the organic layer to realise the potential of this data and convert it into knowledge and valuable business insights.
Externally, AI can assist IT in following domains
Live support: An AI powered chatbot or virtual assistants can enable a 24/7 customer support centre and help the IT team in taking up regular queries thereby helping in better customer engagement and satisfaction. A chatbot with embedded cognitive AI layer and the nature language processing can bring in a more humane interaction where customers can easily relate and build trust.
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Personalised engagement: AI can also act as an interface for the customer. By implementing deep learning and machine learning platforms, AI can offer personalised and relevant information for the potential customers by analysing and interpreting patterns and data sets available from past customer interaction or engagement.
The impact of these technologies may not be immediate, but Artificial Intelligence is the future and early adopters can enjoy widespread benefits and competitive advantage. The IT enterprises and teams need to have a roadmap for their digital transformation. Most essentially, every enterprise IT teams should be actively invested in researching and adapting to the technological evolution.
AI is not there to replace IT infrastructure but to collaborate with it and increase the efficiency in delivery and deployment. Moving from legacy IT systems to Smart IT is difficult but required. AI has already proved its significance in various domains in industries like retail, banking and healthcare. IT is a pivotal domain where AI can make the processes and interaction more intelligent, cognitive and engaging.
The writer is vice-president, EAG and Cloud at Happiest Minds.